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ESL English School Chicago area

482 N. MILWAUKEE AVE., WHEELING, IL 60090

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English idiomatic expressions are hard for language learners because often there is very little visible connection between the words and actual meanings.

 If we consider expressions with BREAK we will see this quite well.  We know that break means to separate one whole into parts and in general this has a negative connotation. 

"Make or break" describes an event which can be good or very bad

But "Give someone a break" means to give someone peace and quiet;

"Get a break" or "lucky break"  means to have an unexpected opportunity.

"Take a break", a very common expression, is welcome in any classroom.

"Break ground" means start of a new construction, which usually is celebrated with great joy.

As these examples show, we have to be careful about when dealing with idiomatic expressions.

 

-- Provided by L. K., Ivy’s ESL Teacher –

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